Takeaways From NC&B 2018

Bartenders, bar managers, nightclub owners and employees descended on Las Vegas for the Nightclub & Bar in late March to learn more about improving their skills and boosting business. Here are some of the highlights from the 2018 event.

  • Staff education and training are crucial to your success. It doesn’t matter how good the product is if your staff doesn’t understand it and can’t explain it to customers, according to David Foss, partner in Invictus Hospitality. Let your team taste the products and describe flavors to build their vocabulary of descriptors.
  • Employees want to be educated and developed. Training has been shown to boost employee retention and morale, said Pat Fahey content director for the Cicerone Certification Program. “People want to improve,” and do better at their jobs, he said.
  • Millennials have changed the beverage alcohol industry. For one thing, a presentation by Technomic noted that they were also the first generation to embrace beer, wine and spirits simultaneously, rather than starting out with beer when they became of legal drinking age. Both Millennials and Generation Y care about a product’s story, and where it comes from. That’s just one reason operators need to offer better wine and beer in their bars and restaurants, Voss said.
  • It’s an Instagram world. Make sure that that there’s something in your establishment that people will take photos of, advised Lou Trop, president of restaurant/beverage consultancy LJ Trope & Co. Create “Instagram moments” with your drinks, decor, space etc. You also need to have professional photos of your food and drinks for sharing and promoting on social media.
  • The cannabis cat is out of the bag. Already legal in nine states, cannabis is expected to be approved by eight more states by 2020, pot has become more acceptable for socialization and relaxation. So get ready to deal with the challenges and opportunities marijuana will present as it becomes more mainstream.
  • “Ya gotta bring it” to compete and win. Bring energy to work every day, lead by example, build relationships and be sincere. These were just a few of the pearls of wisdom from keynote speaker Ron “Jaws” Jaworski, former NFL quarterback and NFL analyst. Perhaps most important, he said to trust your team and set them up for success. “Create an atmosphere where people love coming to work.”

We’ll have more from Nightclub & Bar 2018 in the June/July issue. Cheers!

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